Rangers Recap: Rangers clip Flyers 2-1
John Tortorella made headlines the other day by making the statement that he would enforce all of the changes that we were promised when he was hired less than a year ago. He employed his new roster two days ago against the Islanders and it resulted in a 5-2 romping, filled with energy and the type of play you hope to see from a good hockey team. That continued last night where the Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 for their second straight win.
The first period started out well for the Rangers with Chris Drury notching his second goal in two games (2 in his previous 27 games before Thursday). The Rangers surrendered the lead shortly after on a Chris Pronger power play goal after an Enver Lisin boarding penalty. Although the Rangers took four penalties, they played a solid road period and kept the Flyers pretty much in check.
The second period was more of the same from the Rangers, relying on a few great Henrik Lundqvist saves before Artem Anisimov scored his second goal in as many games to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Marian Gaborik continued to be kept without much space, mainly due to some fantastic defending from Pronger (who really played a great game). The Rangers had their chances to break this one open in the second but Christopher "fanned on the puck" Higgins, well, fanned on a few scoring opportunities. And Ryan Callahan couldn’t find a way to bang his alone in the slot chance, shooting directly into Brian Boucher’s chest.
The third period was pretty much dedicated to tons of defense from both teams—which incidentally lead to tons of offensive chances. The game went back and forth and if wasn’t for some spectacular Henrik Lundqvist saves this game might have easily gone in a different direction. Overall though the Rangers played a pretty composed, and solid road game.
I would still have to say that the Rangers have been taking too many penalties; they just didn’t pay for it today. And while Marian Gaborik was kept off the score sheet he was still very noticeable. Defensively he broke up Flyers outlet passes, lifted stick to stop scoring chances, and didn’t take any crap from Flyers who were simply looking to get under his skin. Have I mentioned that I love him yet?
Oh by the way Gaborik has 24 goals the same amount that Markus Naslund had all of last year.
- Michael Del Zotto quietly played one of his better games this year. He was very physical against a big and tough Flyers team, plus he was all over the ice offensively and ran the power play pretty effectively.
- Henrik Lundqvist played his best game of the year. Good to see him back to his old form.
- Artem Anisimov is beginning to blossom before our very eyes. The 21 year-old was spectacular today and really seems to have figured out the speed of the NHL. He physically imposed the Flyers all night and was a monster in the offensive zone. Watch him shield the puck with his body, it’s beautiful to watch.
- Drury also had one of his best games of the year. Think that goal against the Islanders boosted is confidence? Good for him we need him to get going.
- Man Chris Higgins seems to do everything right. He gets the puck, he shields away defenders, he makes space and then he finds ways not to score. I feel for him but he needs to start scoring, he is starting to hurt this team.
- We said it in the live thread but I have Chris Pronger with a fiery passion, and would give up quite a bit to have him in Ranger blue. Great move for the Flyers in my opinion.
- As much as I hate to say it Micahel Rozsival played his second consecutive great game. Maybe benching Wade Redden was the right move by Torts.
- Speaking of John Tortorella he better continue keeping Ales Kotalik and Wade Redden on the bench, things are working right now no need to rock the ship.
- Ryan Callahan also played a great two way game, playing great defense and making a few offensive chances as well.
- I also think that Ilkka Heikkinen played a great game tonight. He was solid on his own end, threw a few nice hits and didn’t seem out of place at all. I hate to say it but I think he is making more of a difference right now then Matt Gilroy was.
Also Brian Boyle was injured, we will keep an eye on it and keep you posted when we learn more. The Rangers got a huge win today and are finally playing their brand of hockey. Thoughts guys?